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Shopping for the Perfect Winter Coat
It's that time of year again! Each year I tell myself, this time I'll buy myself a new winter coat, and each year, I end up looking after everyone else but me! So this year it's time for a change! After all, I'm good enough, smart enough, and dog-gone-it, people like me!
OK, enough positive affirmations - let's get down to basics! Every fall, as most women already know, heralds the newest, hottest designs and fashions in woman's clothing - including coats and jackets. If you are anything like me, you can easily plow through a winter season wearing last years selection, however, there are many ladies out there who simply can't.
Not withstanding the fact that this year I really did need new winter wear, this hub is for the fashion conscious ladies out there who keep the designers in business, and who, hopefully, gift those less fortunate with their last year's cast-offs. (I take an extra large by the way...)
This year I am looking for a smart, full length wool coat, in my fave colour of course - red! I adore winter white, but I have two black cats, two large dogs and a son, so unfortunately, unless I want to have it cleaned weekly, I'll stay with the red!
Mind you, not everyone has the same taste in fashion that I do, so I decided it might be best if I let others choose their own styles. I managed to find some really wonderful selections online that I thought would be good to share. So without further ado - I present them for your shopping pleasure.
These mid-length coats made of a soft wool-blend (80% wool, 20% polyester) are extremely comfortable. Surprisingly, they aren't itchy, due to the polyester, and keep you quite warm. As you can see, this material is used more for a fitted coat. The styles vary and large envelope collars, back vents, button fly closures and vertical seams are just some of the features that make these coats so fashionable.
The wool blend is generally not as heavy to wear as a full wool coat, yet it still carries the warmth and protection from the weather that wool coats are famous for. They are available in almost every color under the sun, and retain their style and beauty for years.
A down-filled parka is absolutely perfect for Alberta winters - or somebody like me who loves to stay warm and cozy despite the supposedly minor temperatures! (Unfortunately, I look like the Michelin Man, or the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man in one of these...)
I do love the warmth, but being slightly under tall, and having gathered a few more inches around the middle, it is best that I stick to something a tad more slimming, and possibly longer in length to draw the eyes downward instead of sideways.
Most retail stores carry a great selection for those hot blooded ladies who don't need to keep their keesters warm! (I find the older I get, the more I need to stay wrapped up...something to do with the blood thinning. But I'm not old enough for that yet!) But if you find that you don't care for the styles, take a look online. I was thrilled to find one that I absolutely adored. Thankfully my husband listened and it arrived in time to fit under our Christmas tree.
Some down-filled coats feature different mixes of feathers. These provide the garment with its 'R' value, or warmth. Some blends can be worn in much colder areas. The types of feathers used also helps the garment repel moisture, yet make it machine washable...go figure.
Again, this type of coat is probably more useful in Alberta, or some of the mid western states than Vancouver or California. Not saying that we don't get our share of cold weather, because we do, but generally our weather is a lot milder than the rest of the country. Mind you, if I had one of these in my closet, I certainly wouldn't worry if we were snowed in at Christmas.
If you do decide to shop online, there are several great brand name stores to choose from. One such store, Donna Karan New York, has a beautiful selection of ladies coats featuring wool, nylon, cashmere, and polyester.
Many of her coats are dry clean only - something to know before purchasing, (however if any of you have ever washed a woolen coat, you know it doesn't always turn out the way you want it to!) Most of her selections are available in regular and plus sizes, and you will be sure to be fashionable wherever you go.
Another online brand, Jag Jeans, has several great reasons why their coats are a solid choice for West Coast weather - or anywhere else for that matter!
- Taped seam construction
- Adjustable roll-down hood stows behind collar
- Mesh-lined zippered hand pockets
- Relaxed Fit
- Adjustable elastic and Velcro cuffs
Absolutely perfect for North Coast weather, and a lot more stylish than the bright yellow slicker my mother swore would keep me warm and dry. It may have worked, but I'm scarred for life after earning the name of Big Bird from the rest of the kids at school.
Jones of New York has a wonderful selection of fashionable winter coats from wool to waterproof, that will keep you warm and dry, regardless of what the weatherman predicts!
I have always loved a multi-purpose coat - one that I can wear in the rain or snow, and will keep the wind from slipping between the teeth of the zipper. I always thought it was redundant and bulky to wear a heavy sweater underneath a coat that is supposed to keep the warmth in and the cold out.
No wardrobe is complete without the addition of a 'fair weather' trench coat. I prefer the longer styles, as the short versions end up leaving me looking shorter and rounder than I like. But as I said, they are a wonderful addition to any wardrobe, and perfect for those light, rainy, winter days we see a lot of out here on the coast.
I did have a very serviceable, waterproof short trench coat, but I would prefer one that is a bit longer and has a removable lining. I think I will have to take my own advice and start shopping around. Ooh...I wonder if they have something in red?
Whichever style or material you choose, you are sure to be warm, cozy and fashionable.
I don't really need a new coat this year. I was spoiled at Christmas last year and since the winter weather has been so mild, I haven't had much of an opportunity to even break it in yet. Mind you...after the drought we experienced this year, I do think this winter will be the one that is talked about at family reunions for years to come.
Guess I better dig out the winter coat...